Sunday evening I had a vision. There was this warmth lingering in the evening air and the sunlight was stubborn and sinking so slowly. I was racing with these creative juices and all I could think of was Bub and Teebs in matching outfits, old buildings, brick walls, college campus, and photographs full of shadows, shy smirks, and brotherly love.
It felt cathartic, just envisioning it. Just the thought of meandering around with my boys and my camera and this warm evening was like a revolution for my soul and I felt enlightened. I felt that burning of inspiration when I get a really, really good idea of something that I have to create. I had to create and capture this image in my head, I had to get this creativity out. But first we had to leave the house.
I ironed the matching shirts for the boys, zigzagged around toys in the hallway to grab random necessities to throw in my purse, diapers were changed, shoes were put on, and we were going. Bub was trailing behind me like a yappy puppy nipping at my heels, but I was loving it because I knew he was feeding off of my excitement. With Bub yapping behind me the last thing I needed was to grab my camera bag, shut the door, and go.
But when I expected to feel the satisfying click of the door that meant we were free, I felt a thud. I tried again, and on the second try I absorbed the sudden sobs coming from Bub and dropped to my knees. His Bubby hand, this little baby chunk of limb, had been in the crack of the door, and with all of my excitement and good intentions I had crushed those sweet, sweet fingers.
I held him and counted the seconds of silence, knowing the longer the silence the bigger the wail that would explode from his mouth. The silence drug on, then the vacuum of a gasp, then his wails, and my heart was crushed to the core. Even though there was no blood, just a hanging sliver of skin, those sobs shook me, and my creativity slunk away, embarrassed, and instead I was filled to the brim with guilt as we slathered band-aids around his finger.
He was fine, really. We were both more scared than hurt. But it wasn't my proudest moment. Needless to say, Bub got to eat popsicles for dinner and rest in the giant, safe arms of Daddy while I ran out and bought him a new toy. The door slam, the wailing, the scooping him up and rocking, the popsicles, the erratic reverse down the driveway to go ease my guilt with a new toy---the whole scene was just chaos.
But my life is surrounded by these boys, and the whole scene is often chaos.
Zigzagging down the hallway, dodging toys, slapping a bare heel down on the prickly edge of a Lego, wails, band-aids, tattling, not tattling, trails and trails and trails of scattered clothes and discarded toys and kitchen cabinets that never, ever seem to get closed. The games and the running. The stumbles and falls. And the band-aids, oh the band-aids. These are my boys.
I remember when Bub was just a squirmy thing, a tiny warm, round face, and Tom threw a box of 350 band-aids into our shopping cart. I remember feeling charmed, how sweet it was that Tom thought we would ever need 350 band-aids. How over prepared and protective he was being. What a Daddy. But these are my boys, and my chaos, and we need every band-aid we can get our hands on.
But at the end of every day, when the chaos has unwound into peaceful exhaustion, these are my boys:
Every night, those droopy eyed boys snuggle with Daddy. These are my boys. My rainbow after the storm, my silence after a feisty day. These are my boys. My chaos, my boys, my world. I'd take them over anything, 350 band-aids and all.
Read more from Jessica at bubandteebs.com
Jessica is a writer and amateur photographer in Lincoln, Nebraska. She began writing after the birth of her second child when she found she needed an outlet for her creative energy. Soon after she began taking pictures, and since has used her blog as a "canvas" for pairing her unique photos with poetic writing. She finds inspiration for her writing through her husband and their two boys.